Public performance reports

Working with communities

The Council Plan Connect, outlines our objectives for 2017-22. Connect Priorities should not be seen in isolation, they interact with each other and as we achieve success in one, we move closer to success in others. In delivering our vision to ‘improve the quality of life of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our priorities show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners.

For daily updates, stories and what’s going on in your area, visit our information and news website South Lanarkshire View

Each year we produce Annual Performance Spotlights which summarise how we have performed in achieving our Connect Priorities. To complement these we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports which focus on key areas of council business. This report outlines the performance in relation to communities and engagement.

Introduction

Working with Communities

Community Planning Partners are working together to make South Lanarkshire a better place to live and work. Our aim is to work with communities to deliver better services targeted at reducing poverty and tackling inequalities and deprivation across South Lanarkshire. Further information about the work of the partnership can be found on the South Lanarkshire Community Planning website.

The council’s Community Engagement Team work with communities to help them identify and meet their local priorities. They can also help to find the best people within the partnership to talk to about your community’s ideas and how you can progress these.

The Community Empowerment Act 2015 means that legally the partnership has to place communities at the centre of its process, and work alongside them to produce locality plans which we call neighbourhood plans in areas which face the greatest inequalities. The Act also sets out other requirements for public bodies such as Community Asset Transfer  and Participation Requests.

During the year, many consultation and engagement activities were carried out by partners with communities in the South Lanarkshire area. The following sections highlight some areas of this work.   

Neighbourhood Planning and Participatory Budgeting  

Neighbourhood Planning aims to improve outcomes for residents in some of our most deprived communities. Key to this is supporting communities to lead on the process and work alongside other organisations and service providers. Together they build a shared understanding of local needs and priorities and respond to these making the most of our shared resources.

Work is currently taking place with local action groups in the following areas:-

  • Burnhill, Rutherglen
  • Cambuslang East Ward
  • Fairhill, Hamilton
  • Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank, Hamilton
  • Strutherhill and Birkenshaw, Larkhall
  • Springhall and Whitlawburn, Rutherglen

For more information see Our Place Our Plan and Our place our plan booklet

Participatory Budgeting (often known as PB) is a way for people to be involved in deciding about how money is spent in their area. During 2019-20, communities involved in neighbourhood planning took part in small PB exercises where the community vote to decide which local projects they wanted to see delivered. An example of one such project supported over the past year is the Larkhall community shopping bus. This project is the result of a joint venture between Larkhall & District Volunteer Group (LDVG) and the Our Place Our Plan Strutherhill and Birkenshaw Community Group. The bus fills a gap in the provision of existing services and provides a vital link for elderly/ disabled residents, running every Wednesday, picking up and dropping residents to their doors and connecting them to local supermarkets and other community services in the Larkhall area.

Supporting communities

In addition to the Neighbourhood Planning work, many of our communities have been developing and delivering on their own local plans with support from local/national organisations and the community engagement team.     

18 residents and staff working across the first 3 Neighbourhood Planning areas successfully completed an ACTIVATE Community Development course and were awarded a certificate in Community Work from Glasgow University on 22 January 2020. 

Our Place, My Future activity has started in Burnbank. This is a person-centred approach to engage people and connect them to local support services and to their own community.

The Community Planning Partnership’s Child Poverty Action Plan sets out how we will work together to reduce child poverty in South Lanarkshire.  

The Community Planning Partnership are also in the process of developing a Community Engagement Strategy. This will set out how we will engage and listen to and work in partnership with communities to improve outcomes for everyone. We have been engaging with local groups, organisations and individuals to help inform the content of the plan.  A further South Lanarkshire wide consultation is planned to take place. 

A Community Planning Conference took place in December 2019. The event was very well attended with approximately 100 representatives/volunteers from 47 local organisations in attendance. Representatives from seven community groups shared the work that they were doing in their local communities with everyone and engaged in discussions on ‘Having community conversations that matter’. 

Examples of areas for improvement/action that were highlighted from the conference and the proposed action being taken are as follows:-

Conference feedback
Conference feed Back Actions being taken Date
Community should be invited to be part of the Community Planning Partnership Review of CPP structures currently being undertaken and includes consideration of how the community should be involved. By April 20202
Make the Community Asset Transfer process easier to understand Updated information and fact sheets being developed for the website.  Focus group being held with groups who have successfully been through the process to see how to make it easier to access. May 2020
Use a variety of communication techniques Communications Plan for the partnership being updated for 2020; new fixed term officer post to lead on face to face communication with communities.

Updated plan by June 2020

Post filled April 2020
Invest in volunteer training Discussions under way to provide more training for community volunteers through Glasgow University Course to be held in 2020


More information about the conference can be found on the Community Planning Partnership website.

Building and Celebrating Communities (BCC)

The key objectives of BCC is to explore how the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) can generate more space for communities to create the things that matter to them - and how the partnership can support these activities. 

Communication workshops, led by the HSCP Communication Manager, have enabled, inspired and driven community-based action, and support early intervention and prevention via the programme. These have taken place in the Clydesdale area.

Local voices helped shape the foundation stone of the programme of work and strength-based philosophy we intended to set. An ongoing priority, is to help amplify these voices and ideas. 

Further information

If you would like to get involved contact:Euan.Duguid@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk

Further information can be found on the HSCP website: http://www.slhscp.org.uk/

Community Asset Transfers

Local councils, the Scottish Government and other public authorities own or rent lots of land and buildings, like schools, hospitals, parks and forests. The Community Empowerment Act gives community organisations a right to ask to take over control of land or a building. If the community organisation's plan is better for people, they will be allowed to buy, rent or have the use of it. This is called Asset Transfer. The Act sets out specific criteria that needs to be met by community organisations. 

During 2019-20, South Lanarkshire Council was the only CP partner that received Community Asset Transfer applications. The council worked with 16 organisations through the various stages of the process and so far one of these organisations has gone on to achieve formal asset transfer. The application approved was for Larkhall Churches Together with an extended 25 year lease for the Lighthouse Facility in Larkhall. 

Further information

For more information on asset transfers see the Asset Transfer Summary Guide

Community Asset Transfers - South Lanarkshire Council

Participation Requests

Participation requests are a formal way for community bodies to request to be involved in decisions and put forward their ideas on how services could be changed to improve outcomes for the community. Requests can be made to a range of public bodies including South Lanarkshire Council, NHS Lanarkshire, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, etc. More information on participation requests is provided through the link below:-

Participation Requests

Last year we set out actions to improve community planning practice which were agreed at a Community Planning Conference in December 2019. 

Covid -19 pandemic response - Community Wellbeing

As per the saying “saving the best for last” we cannot conclude a report on the year without highlighting the fantastic work of our communities in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The local community response to the pandemic in South Lanarkshire was phenomenal and the speed at which communities came together to support local people was commendable. An incredible, 1,587 people living in South Lanarkshire volunteered to help. Many local businesses offered their workforce, services, vehicles, equipment and donations of food and money to help with the response to the pandemic.

A Community Wellbeing Helpline was established by the council and supported by the South Lanarkshire CPP just before the end of March 2020. This helpline was created to support the people of South Lanarkshire through the pandemic lockdown. South Lanarkshire Council’s Community Engagement Team and VASLan worked together to support community and third sector partnerships and link those needing assistance from the Wellbeing Helpline with the help available in their community. Examples of the support provided by local community responders included the delivery of food parcels, collection and delivery of prescriptions and a friendly phone call.

Further information

There are many ways to get involved in your local community and influence the work of the partnership, for example, through volunteering, joining a local action group or making a participation request.  If you would like to get involved, email communities@southlanarkshire.gov.uk or phone 0303 123 1017

Twice a year, performance reports are presented to council committees on progress against the Resource Plans. In addition, reports detailing progress against the Council Plan Connect Priorities are prepared.

Performance reports and the annual report are on the CPP website

 Community Plan and Neighbourhood Plans

Annual outcome improvement report 2019-20

 More information on our objectives can be found in the Council Plan and also the Annual Performance Spotlights.

Local Government Benchmarking Framework  (LGBF) allows councils to work together, to use performance information in a way which will help understand variations, share knowledge, expertise and good practice, with a view to making improvements. At the core of the framework is an agreed suite of performance indicators. We report the results for these indicators, over time, on the website. Additionally, you can compare our LGBF results with other councils' using the mylocalcouncil tool. Not all local authorities are alike and so family groups of eight ‘similar’ councils have been set up for comparison purposes. Workshops take place throughout the year to discuss the indicators and results – South Lanarkshire Council is actively involved in these discussions.

The information contained within this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (February 2021)